Today’s Dish: Spanakopita
One thing I’ve realized recently is that I really missed cooking while I was in school. For three years I barely felt like I had time to cook a good meal, because any hours of my day that weren’t spent in class were spent studying or practicing my skills. Now that I’m working, I have a lot more free time.
Today I decided I felt like making something Greek inspired. Since I can’t eat any of the meatier dishes, I instead went with an old favourite: spanakopita.
Spanakopita looks somewhat complicated, but it really isn’t. The worst part is working with the finicky phyllo dough, but if you work quickly, it really isn’t that difficult.
Spanakopita, from the Moosewood Cookbook
Yield: 8 servings
Time: 1½ hours
½ c olive oil
2 c onion, minced
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2½ pounds fresh spinach, cleaned and de-stemmed
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp flour
1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 c ricotta or cottage cheese
1 Tbsp black pepper, or to taste
1 pound phyllo pastry leaves
Preheat oven to 375º.
Sauté onion, salt, basil, and oregano in 2 Tbsp oil for 5 minutes, until the onion softens.
Add spinach and cook over medium-high heat for at least 5 minutes, until spinach wilts.
Turn heat down to medium, stir in garlic and flour, and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired.
Get your phyllo dough out of the fridge and unwrap. Lay out a sheet of the dough in the baking dish (it will overlap the sides). Brush with oil, lay another on top, brush with oil, and repeat for a total of 8 sheets.
Spread half of the spinach mixture over the dough. Lay out another 8 sheets of phyllo as above. Spread the rest of the spinach on top, then lay out the remaining sheets. Brush the top with oil and tuck the phyllo sheets into the pan.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until golden-brown and crispy.